You are here

Events at the Mechanics' Institute

Classes
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm

Ancestry Library Edition

Want to research your family history? Now’s your chance with our new subscription to the Ancestry database which provides access to billions of records in census data, vital records, directories, photos, and more. The class will provide tips on searching and how to decipher the records, and plenty of time for hands-on practice.

Members Only - Free

Classes
Thursday, May 28, 2015 - 10:00am to 4:00pm

Tech Office Hours

One-on-one technology consultations

Want to research your family history? Now’s your chance with our new subscription to the Ancestry database which provides access to billions of records in census data, vital records, directories, photos, and more. The class will provide tips on searching and how to decipher the records, and plenty of time for hands-on practice.

Members Only - Free
Registration required (see description).

Activities
Thursday, May 28, 2015 - 6:00pm

Bi-Annual Members' Meeting

Join us for our bi-annual Mechanics' Institute community gathering to meet fellow members, staff, and trustees. Hear from the staff about new plans and programs, technology updates, and our efforts to improve your experience as members.

Members & Guests Free
More information
No registration required.

CinemaLit Films
Friday, May 29, 2015 - 6:00pm

Frisco Jenny (1932)

May 2015: Reel Acting

A thriving S.F. brothel is threatened by a crusading D.A. who's unaware that the madam is his birth mother, in this pre-Code melodrama.

Members Free
Public $10 (suggested donation)

First Tuesday TED Talk
Tuesday, June 02, 2015 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

1st Tuesday TED Talk Discussion

Allan Savory: How to fight desertification and reverse climate change

Come watch this pre-recorded TED video in which Allan Savory talks about how to fight desertification and reverse climate change.

Members Only - Free
More information
No registration required.

Book Group Meetings - First Wednesday Mystery Group
Wednesday, June 03, 2015 - 5:30pm

Pronto

by Elmore Leonard

Known for his roller-coaster plots, colorful settings, and diverse shady characters, Leonard opens this international caper in South Miami Beach. An aging bookie leaves his topless-dancer girlfriend for early retirement when he learns he's about to be the scapegoat in a sting. As he becomes a fugtive in Italy, dodging both the law and the Mafia, the righteous Kentucky-born, cowboy-hatted U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens goes after him.

Members Only; Free

Activities
Wednesday, June 03, 2015 - 6:00pm

Downton Abbey: the Music and the Era with Dulais Rhys

Join Dulais Rhys for a look at the music of Downton Abbey within the context of the Edwardian period (beginning of the 20th century) including references via slideshow and audio examples of the era’s arts, social developments, technical innovations, historical events and retrospective perceptions.

Members Free
Public $15

Classes
Thursday, June 04, 2015 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

JSTOR Database

JSTOR is a trusted growing digital library of more than 2,000 academic journals, nearly 20,000 books, and two million primary source materials (such as pamphlets, manuscripts, oral histories, government documents, and more) across many disciplines. In this class, learn how to get connected and make the most of this resource.

Members Only - Free

Book Group Meetings - Brown Bag Mystery Readers
Monday, June 08, 2015 - 12:00pm

The Family Way

by Rhys Bowen

Molly Murphy--now Molly Sullivan--is a year into her marriage, expecting her first child, and confined to the life of a housewife. She's restless and irritable in the enforced idleness of pregnancy and the heat of a New York summer in 1905. So when a trip to the post office brings a letter addressed to her old detective agency asking her to locate a missing Irish serving maid, Molly figures it couldn't hurt to at least ask around, despite her promise to Daniel to give up her old career as a detective.

Members Only; Free
More information
No registration required.

Meet the Author(s)
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 12:30pm

Audrey Cooper, Editor in Chief, San Francisco Chronicle

In conversation with Ralph Lewin

Join the San Francisco Chronicle’s editor-in-chief Audrey Cooper and Mechanics' Institute executive director Ralph Lewin as they discuss the future of news and Cooper’s journey to become the first woman to fill the role of editor-in-chief in the company’s 150-year history.

Members of Mechanics' Institute Free
Public $15

Classes
Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Financial Newsletters

Invest just over an hour of your time, and walk away with a solid knowledge of the Library’s collection of more than twenty investment letter subscriptions covering stocks, mutual funds, commodities, turnaround situations, technical analysis and market timing. Discover particular strengths of each newsletter.

Members Only - Free

Activities
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - 7:00pm

14th Annual Bloomsday Celebration: Re-Joyce in the Stacks

Muses, Music, and Dramatic Readings from James Joyce’s Ulysses

Sojourn though the streets of Dublin with Leopold Bloom and other characters featured in James Joyce’s quintessential novel Ulysses and other works.

Members of Mechanics' Institute $15
Irish Literary & Historical Society $15
Irish-American Crossroads Festival $15
Public $25
Advance reservations required.

Classes
Thursday, June 18, 2015 - 3:00pm to 6:00pm

Library Downloads Workshop: eBooks, eMagazines, eAudiobooks

The Mechanics' Institute offers hundreds of digital titles that you can download to your computer, tablet, or smartphone from anywhere there's an internet connection. Bring your device to this hands-on workshop where you'll set up an account, have your questions answered, and get started downloading eBooks, eMagazines, and eAudiobooks.

Members Only - Free
More information
No registration required.

Classes
Thursday, June 25, 2015 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Business Insights: Essentials

Learn to research and analyze companies to obtain competitor intelligence and access in-depth industry profiles using the Business Insights database.

Members Only - Free

Meet the Author(s)
Thursday, June 25, 2015 - 6:00pm

Democratic Architecture: Practical Solutions to Housing Crises

An evening with author and architect Donald MacDonald

In his latest book, Donald MacDonald offers viable and affordable solutions to our country’s tough urban problems and raises questions not just about housing policy, but about larger political and ethical issues.

Members of Mechanics' Institute Free
Public $15

Book Group Meetings - First Wednesday Mystery Group
Wednesday, July 01, 2015 - 6:00pm

Mr. Churchill's Secretary: A Maggie Hope Mystery

by Susan Elia MacNeal

London, 1940. Winston Churchill has just been sworn in, war rages across the Channel, and the threat of a Blitz looms. Maggie Hope graduated at the top of her college class and possesses all the skills of the finest minds in British intelligence, but her gender qualifies her only to be the newest typist at No. 10 Downing Street. Her indefatigable spirit and remarkable gifts for codebreaking, though, rival those of even the highest men in government, and Maggie finds that working for the prime minister affords her a level of clearance (and opportunities) she could never have imagined. It also exposes her to the machinations of a menacing faction determined to do whatever it takes to change the course of history.

Ensnared in a web of spies, murder, and intrigue, Maggie must work fast to balance her duty to King and Country with her chances for survival. And when she unravels a mystery that points toward her own family’s hidden secrets, she’ll discover that her quick wits are all that stand between an assassin’s murderous plan and Churchill himself.

Members Only; Free
More information
No registration required.

Book Group Meetings - Brown Bag Mystery Readers
Monday, July 13, 2015 - 12:00pm

The Murders in the Rue Morgue

by Edgar Allan Poe

The Murders in the Rue Morgue is thought to be the first modern detective story, published by Edgar Allan Poe in 1841. In this classic tale the detective demonstrates the ineptitude of the police, the value of reason, and how it’s the seemingly least important details that often matter most. A landmark in the history of detective fiction.

Members Only; Free
More information
No registration required.

Book Group Meetings - Good Reads Book Group
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 - 12:00pm

On Such a Full Sea

by Chang-Rae Lee

B-Mor is a rigorously ordered labor settlement founded in what used to be Baltimore by refugees from impossibly polluted New China. They grow stringently regulated food for the elite, who live in gated charter villages, surrounded by open counties, in which civilization has collapsed under the assaults of a pandemic and an ever-harsher climate. In a third-person plural narrative voice that perfectly embodies the brutal and wistful communities he portrays, Lee tells the mythic story of young, small, yet mighty Fan, a breath-held diver preternaturally at home among the farmed fish she tends to. When her boyfriend inexplicably disappears, Fan escapes from B-Mor to search for him, embarking on a daring, often surreal quest in a violent, blighted world.

Members Only; Free
More information
No registration required.

Book Group Meetings - First Wednesday Mystery Group
Wednesday, August 05, 2015 - 6:00pm

Unnatural Death: A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery

by Dorothy Sayers

Though never quick-witted, Agatha Dawson had an iron constitution and a will to fight that never abated in her old age. Even after three operations failed to rid her of her cancer, she refused to give in. But as her body began to weaken, she accused lawyers, nurses, and doctors of trying to kill her and snatch her fortune. The town physician, an expert in cancer, gives her six months to live. Three days later, she is dead.

Though the autopsy reveals nothing surprising, the doctor suspects that Agatha’s niece had some hand in the old woman’s death. When Lord Peter Wimsey, the dashing gentleman detective, looks into the matter, he finds that death stalks all those who might testify. How can he continue his investigation when every question marks another innocent for murder?

Members Only; Free
More information
No registration required.

Book Group Meetings - Brown Bag Mystery Readers
Monday, August 10, 2015 - 12:00pm

Spider Woman's Daughter

by Anne Hillerman


Navajo Nation Police Officer Bernadette Manualito witnesses the cold-blooded shooting of someone very close to her. With the victim fighting for his life, the entire squad and the local FBI office are hell-bent on catching the gunman. Bernie, too, wants in on the investigation, despite regulations forbidding eyewitness involvement. But that doesn't mean she's going to sit idly by, especially when her husband, Sergeant Jim Chee, is in charge of finding the shooter. Bernie and Chee discover that a cold case involving his former boss and partner, retired Inspector Joe Leaphorn, may hold the key. Digging into the old investigation, husband and wife find themselves inching closer to the truth...and closer to a killer determined to prevent justice from taking its course.

Members Only; Free
More information
No registration required.

Book Group Meetings - Good Reads Book Group
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - 12:00pm

Little Failure

by Gary Shteyngart

Little Failure is the all too true story of an immigrant family betting its future on America, as told by a lifelong misfit who finally finds a place for himself in the world through books and words. In 1979, a little boy dragging a ginormous fur hat and an overcoat made from the skin of some Soviet woodland creature steps off the plane at New York's JFK International Airport and into his new American life. His troubles are just beginning. For the former Igor Shteyngart, coming to the United States from the Soviet Union is like stumbling off a monochromatic cliff and landing in a pool of Technicolor.

Members Only; Free
More information
No registration required.

Book Group Meetings - First Wednesday Mystery Group
Wednesday, September 02, 2015 - 6:00pm

Smilla’s Sense of Snow

by Peter Høeg

She thinks more highly of snow and ice than she does of love. She lives in a world of numbers, science and memories--a dark, exotic stranger in a strange land. And now Smilla Jaspersen is convinced she has uncovered a shattering crime. It happened in the Copenhagen snow. A six-year-old boy, a Greenlander like Smilla, fell to his death from the top of his apartment building. While the boy's body is still warm, the police pronounce his death an accident. But Smilla knows her young neighbor didn't fall from the roof on his own. Soon she is following a path of clues as clear to her as footsteps in the snow. For her dead neighbor, and for herself, she must embark on a harrowing journey of lies, revelation and violence that will take her back to the world of ice and snow from which she comes, where an explosive secret waits beneath the ice.

Members Only; Free
More information
No registration required.

Book Group Meetings - Brown Bag Mystery Readers
Monday, September 14, 2015 - 12:00pm

The Chinese Gold Murders

by Robert van Gulik

In this, the second book in Robert van Gulik's classic mystery series of ancient China, Judge Dee must look into the murder of his predecessor. His job is complicated by the simultaneous disappearance of his chief clerk and the new bride of a wealthy local shipowner. Meanwhile, a tiger is terrorizing the district, the ghost of the murdered magistrate stalks the tribunal, a prostitute has a secret message for Dee, and the body of a murdered monk is discovered to be in the wrong grave. In the end, the judge, with his deft powers of deduction, uncovers the one cause for all of these seemingly unrelated events.

Members Only; Free
More information
No registration required.

Book Group Meetings - Good Reads Book Group
Tuesday, September 15, 2015 - 12:00pm

Boy, Snow, Bird

by Helen Oyeyemi

From the prizewinning author of Mr. Fox, the Snow White fairy tale brilliantly recast as a story of family secrets, race, beauty, and vanity. In the winter of 1953, Boy Novak arrives by chance in a small town in Massachusetts, looking, she believes, for beauty - the opposite of the life she's left behind in New York. She marries a local widower and becomes stepmother to his winsome daughter, Snow Whitman. A wicked stepmother is a creature Boy never imagined she'd become, but elements of the familiar tale of aesthetic obsession begin to play themselves out when the birth of Boy's daughter, Bird, who is dark-skinned, exposes the Whitmans as light-skinned African Americans passing for white. Among them, Boy, Snow, and Bird confront the tyranny of the mirror to ask how much power surfaces really hold. Dazzlingly inventive and powerfully moving, Boy, Snow, Bird is an astonishing and enchanting novel.

Members Only; Free
More information
No registration required.